Shiplap Ceiling

Joanna Gaines would be so proud of us. I didn’t even know what shiplap was until I got hooked on watching Fixer Upper and now I have spent several weekends installing it in the new workshop. For those of you who don’t know what it is, I’m proud of you for never seeing HGTV, and also, here’s a great example of it. Photo Credit: https://abeautifulmess.com/2016/02/so-you-want-to-diy-a-shiplap-wall.html Shiplap was commonly used as exterior siding for barns and similar structures in harsh climates, as the overlap on the edges allowed for good weather proofing and movement in temperature extremes. Now, everybody and their mom is putting it in their house for a farmhouse look. Allyson and I are jumping on this train with the workshop ceiling, as it is a perfect fit for the modern farmhouse design Allyson is putting together for the workshop. Our workshop during the summer. It's missing some trim,…

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Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I hope your holiday was filled with a healthy amount of unhealthy food and the perfect amount of family time (whatever that means for you). I also hope that your post-holiday days were filled with zero shopping. As always here at the Branchbarks household, we recommend buying used and limiting consumption, pretty much the exact opposite of black Friday. I won’t go on a rant today about consumerism; just know that it sucks the big green weenie as an old mentor used to say. Today I want to talk about gratitude. Obviously, this is an original and topical post that no one else could possibly think of around this time. The thing is, regardless of what time of the year it is, being grateful is a healthy practice. I’ve personally tried to keep a notebook on me all of the time that I fill up with…

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The Power of Community

While Community was a good show that I thought had a lot of interesting storytelling methods throughout the course of the series, it is not what I am talking about today. I want to talk about the community that we all build up around us every day.  I believe that building healthy communities within our friend groups and neighborhood can be a powerful way to make the world a better place. That may seem like an exaggeration to you, but there is so much good that comes out of a healthy and caring community.  You can learn so much from those around you. It is extremely easy these days to find yourself in an “echo chamber” of ideas that match your own. Getting outside of those environments and hearing from other perspectives and experiences makes us all more empathetic and understanding of others. As an example, I’ve enjoyed getting to…

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Every Resource You Could Ever Need

What I would like to discuss today is best introduced in the form of a poem: What do you do when you are missing a skill?Where do you turn when you have some time to kill? Do you ever want to escape your day to day routine,get lost in a fantasy land or learn to make the very best poutine? I encourage you to hop on your computer and complete a small query,you’ll need to figure out the quickest path to your local library. It is full of every resource you could ever imagine or seek;books, DVDs, classes, and more, go ahead, take a peek. Seriously y’all, wherever you live you should definitely figure out where your local library is located. Allyson and I are probably in our library at least every other week, stockpiling on books for fun, resource books to learn new skills, or even DVDs. Currently we…

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HOLY S*** EMERGENCY

I’d like to apologize to you all to begin this week. You may have noticed that this post is going up on a Tuesday night rather than the typical Sunday. I’ll freely admit that part of the reason for that is poor planning on my part, as I knew I would be gone this weekend on a bucket list type trip. On Sunday I went to watch a Green Bay Packers game at Lambeau Field against the Carolina Panthers. As a lifelong Packers fan, this was an amazing experience that I won’t soon forget. The temperature at kickoff was a balmy 33°F and only got colder throughout the game. By halftime there was solid snowfall and at the end of the game the field had been covered by a layer of fluffy snow. The environment combined with a last second stand by the Packers to come away with victory made…

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Hobby or Money Pit?

How do you spend your free time? It’s a pretty straight forward question you may be asked approximately 100 times if you go to a party with a lot of people you’ve never met before. It’s either that or “what do you do for work?”, which has got to be one of the worst questions out there.  I want to talk about what you do in your free time. Specifically, I want to ask if it is costing you financial freedom and security. Because, for many of us, a lot of our hobbies and interests can end up costing us more than we may realize. Now, I want to be clear, it is important to do things that you love to do and to seek joy in life as much as possible. But, I think it is worth considering what truly brings us happiness and if it is achievable on…

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Do You Even Lift?

It seems as though winter has arrived early here in Denver. I’m currently looking at a light dusting of snow outside and the forecast is predicting 4-8” overnight and into tomorrow with another 4-8” expected on Tuesday. If this continues it will definitely put a damper on my typical exercise plans. It is pretty difficult for me to find ways of exercising that keep me interested and committed to doing it at least four days a week. So far, the only thing that I am able to do consistently is run, which really takes a hit during the winter. If I want to actually reach my goal of weighing 160 lbs and then adding muscle to 165 lbs, I am going to have to figure out a way to exercise consistently during the winter. Some of you may be thinking that a gym membership should be in my future, but…

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Idaho Stop

Who knows what it means to perform an “Idaho Stop”? No, it does not mean stopping for farm equipment or a giant load of potatoes, but I can’t blame you for thinking that initially. The “Idaho Stop” is actually a term that applies to bikers, named after Idaho became the first state (and still one of the few) to pass a law allowing bikers to treat stop signs as yield signs and red lights as stop signs when safe to do so.  All the way back in 1982, which I am sure was a simpler time full of neon clothing and large hair, Idaho updated many of their traffic laws and in doing so made it legal for bicycle riders to essentially do what they were already doing. As anyone who has ridden a bike can tell you, stop signs are the enemy of a smooth ride and are often…

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Your Commute is Killing You….r Wallet

The true cost of commuting. Not something that I was going to discuss in the near future, but recent events have brought this issue to the forefront for me. For the majority of us, a commute is a part of everyday life, something we do multiple times a week. Many of us probably don’t think about it outside of the times we are sitting in our vehicle of choice, yelling at the person in front of us to move. I’m here to tell you it may be time to think about that commute and what it is truly costing, both in your time/happiness and true cost to your vehicle. Before getting into the topic more deeply, I do want to acknowledge that I have privilege in this regard. The story I will tell later is only possible because I have options in my job, and I recognize that that is…

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Workshop Drywall

On the path towards reaching my workshop goals, I needed to make some serious progress on the interior of the shop. As I’ve said before, this will be used year round (if it is ever finished), and so I have taken care to insulate it appropriately. I started by insulating in between the floor joists before installing the sub-floor, and recently I finished insulating the walls with standard fiberglass insulation. Hanging insulation is a technically easy task, just cut the insulation to size using a razor blade and then use a staple gun to attach the edges of the insulation to the studs. However, that sentence does not truly capture how hot and itchy the task was, even when wearing long sleeves/pants and a face mask.  Insulating in progress After stapling everything in place I was able to appreciate the accomplishment, and I know I’ll appreciate it in the upcoming…

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